Honing the art of open questions

Finding out about the other person is the name of the game when building rapport and gives a boost to both your personal and professional relationships. A succession of questions leading to yes or no answers (called closed questions) leaves you no opportunity for personal disclosure, which is vital for the other person to find out what things you share. People like people that they have things in common with.

Asking open questions gets you on the fast track to building rapport. So instead of asking a closed question like 'Isn't it cold today?' ask an open question that requires a longer response: 'What do you think of the weather today?'

Open questions start with who, when, what, where, why, or how.

Ask a friend or colleague to count how many open and closed questions you ask in a normal conversation. Aim to improve your rate of posing open questions in your conversations.

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